Remember when JJs didn’t have Carolina BBQ sauce for a while?

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Joseph “Joey” Baer, GS/JTS, Neuroscience and Jewish History, sunny San Diego, CA

Claim to fame: Former Managing editor of the Fed, author of the famed article “The Super Bats are Back in the Columbia Tunnels again, and This Time They’re Horny”, tunneler extraordinaire, friend of Jim McShane, and the reason why JJs didn’t have Carolina BBQ sauce for most of spring 2018 (I stole the bottle, sorry Chef Mike).

Where are you going? Back home for a little bit and then into the Navy.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2025?

  1. Choose the path of least resistance. Everyone wants to do everything at once. We come from high school where unless we do a million and one extracurriculars and take all APs, we are not getting anywhere. But college isn’t high school. It’s a lot harder and you have a lot less energy. What ends up happening when you overextend (and trust me on this one, I know from first-hand experience) and you end up not doing anything right. It’s better to full ass one thing than half ass a bunch of things. So you don’t have to take Calc 3 if you can take Calc 1. You’ll have a lot more time to sleep and enjoy yourself and you’ll do better. Trust me when I tell you no one cares that you were deputy copy editor of the Spec sophomore year and you were in CFIG. 
  2. The less you tell yourself you care, the better you do. I think this one is correlative with my first point, but I remember being slammed by Mowsh bio and I was an emotional wreck. Then one more I woke up and I looked at myself in the mirror and I told myself “I don’t care”. After that day I suddenly got a lot better at school. I was just less stressed and it actually made it easier to do work. I found when I cared less about my classes I actually got more interested in the subject matter, because I took away the stigma about the grade, and I was able to connect more with the material and I came out better. 
  3. Go to the Grove. It’s the garage door-looking area on 117th & Amsterdam. Show your ID and they let you right through. It’s a partial underground passage that is a loading yard/parking area. What’s nice about it is it connects to a bunch of areas around campus like Havemeyer, Dodge, Uris, Schermerhorn, and others. If you need to slip on and off campus, or need to get into a locked building on the northern side of campus, use the Grove. Also side note if you want to get into John Jay without swiping in, just go to Columbia Health and take the elevator anywhere you want.

“Back in my day…” Amigos never carded, buffalo chicken wrap Thursdays were mandatory, and the god of all dorms still stood: Goldsmith Hall. 

Favorite Columbia controversy? “Venmo Me for My Emotional Labor”. Do people really think friendship is a transactional relationship? Be supportive to your friends people, it’s not rocket science. 

What was your favorite class at Columbia? A JTS class, but History and Philosophy of the Conservative Movement. Rabbi Tucker is an amazing professor and you really get the whole picture on Conservative Judaism. 

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Cheese is as close as man can get to witnessing the majesty of God. 

Whom would you like to thank? So many people. First and foremost my roommate and partner in crime for the last 4 years, Zack Murdock. Of course my parents and all my friends. Also want to thank my lineage ofc, you guys are my rock. And of course I got to thank Kathy, CUPS finest. 

One thing to do before graduating: Take the Cable Car to Roosevelt Island. 

Any regrets? Too much time in Butler 209, not enough time in JJs.

Image via Joey